A legacy plan is a vital part of the financial planning process, ensuring the assets you have spent your entire life accumulating will transfer to the people and organizations you want, and that family members are prepared to inherit and execute your wishes.
Kiplinger’s recent article “4 Reasons Families Fail When Transferring Wealth” gives us four common errors that can cause individuals and families to veer off track. Let’s look at them and learn how you can avoid them
A Failure to Plan is a Plan to Fail
It’s hard for people to think about their own death. I get it.
It’s not a pleasant thing to think about. But don’t let this problem cause you to delay your estate planning. If you die before a comprehensive estate plan is in place, your goals and wishes can’t be carried out.
That’s why you should establish a legacy plan as soon as possible. A legacy plan can evolve over time, but a plan should be grounded in what your or your family envisions today, but with the flexibility to be amended for changes in the future.
Communication is Key
Failing to communicate a plan early can create issues between generations, especially if your ideas about inheritance is different than adult children might expect or incorporates other people and organizations that come as a surprise to heirs.
Bring adult children into the conversation to establish the communication early on. You can focus on the overall, high-level strategy. This includes reviewing timing, familial values and planning objectives. Open communication can mitigate negative feelings, such as distrust or confusion among family members, and make for a more successful transfer.
As the Boy Scouts Say: Be Prepared
The ability to get individual family members on board with defined roles can be difficult, but it can alleviate a lot of potential headaches and obstacles in the future. Be prepared by making sure everyone knows what will be expected of him or her when the time comes to divide your assets.
Don’t Overlook The Essentials
Consider hiring a team of specialists (including a financial adviser, tax professional and estate planning attorney) who can work in together to ensure the plan will meet its intended objectives.
Whether creating a legacy plan today, or as part of the millions of households in the Great Wealth Transfer that will establish plans soon if they haven’t already, preparation and flexibility are uber important to wealth transfer success.
Create an accommodative plan early on, have open communication with your family and review philosophies and values to make certain that everyone’s on the same page. As a result, your loved ones will have the ability to understand, respect and meaningfully execute the legacy plan’s objectives.